Lexus Prius Clone Coming to NAIAS

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
lexus prius clone coming to naias

Toyota will introduce two new hybrid models at the 2009 Detroit North American International Auto Show: the third-gen Prius and a new Lexus-badged hybrid. Motor Trend reports that the new Lexus will be based on the Prius platform and drivetrain, aimed squarely at the "lifestyle wagon" segment. Offering Toyota's proven Hybrid Synergy Drive in a category of small but pricey wagons (think Audi A3) seems like a smart move; the "hybrid premium" will not scare away shoppers who are already considering dropping $30k on what amounts to a compact car. Unfortunately, the artist's rendering which accompanies this announcement looks like little more than the Prius donor car. Hopefully ToMoCo will put a little more effort into the looks of the final product.

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  • Chanman Chanman on Feb 26, 2008

    Ummm, the artwork isn't of the Lexus, folks. For one thing, that's still a hatch. For another, there's a Toyota badge on the hood. The previous generation Camry, Highlander, and Sienna shared platforms. Platform and drivetrain are under the surface - they may look alike, or completely different. A wagon body-style would look different from the current 4-door hatch at the very least.

  • INeon INeon on Feb 27, 2008

    In regards to chan, above-- Is there a Lexus brand in the East? Inside my mind(where weird things happen more often than they should, mind you) the high-end Asian brands are an export market thing-- But now that I think about it.. Didn't Lexus semi-recently come home to Japan? Was that Infiniti instead? Well, anyway, the original point-- There may not be a Lexus brand in Japan, so there it may be called Toyota Prius v. 3.0 XLE or some such, and not PX150 or whatever silly letter/number class they'll come up with for the North Americans. That may be why it's wearing a T and not an L in it's grille badge.

  • Starlightmica Starlightmica on Feb 27, 2008

    Lexus was introduced in Japan a few years ago to coincide with major revisions to the lineup, and four RWD cars sold as Toyotas were redubbed Lexuses: Celsior, Aristo, Altezza, and Soarer. The Harrier (RX) has not been moved to the Lexus lineup so far. The Camry-derived FWD ES, previously known as the JDM Windom, is not available in Japan or Europe. The Land Cruiser variants (GS, LX) remain Toyotas. The Infiniti nor Acura marques have yet to be introduced to the home islands, and Infiniti is now just being rolled out in Europe.

  • Chanman Chanman on Feb 27, 2008

    I'm out in Vancouver here ;) Corolla and Prius taxis are becoming more common, but I'm not sure if it's a fleet or driver decision.